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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Lean Tips Edition #119 (1786-1800)

For my Facebook fans you already know about this great feature. But for those of you that are not connected to A Lean Journey on Facebook or Twitter I post daily a feature I call Lean Tips.  It is meant to be advice, things I learned from experience, and some knowledge tidbits about Lean to help you along your journey.  Another great reason to like A Lean Journey on Facebook.

Here is the next addition of tips from the Facebook page:

Lean Tip #1786 - Review your 2017 Goals and Objectives.
Before you start thinking about 2018, you should think about how 2017 went for you. When we look back on the previous year, we can see areas we succeeded in and areas that need to be worked on in the new year.

Think about the goals you reached, the successes you had, the struggles you encountered, and more. Then, think about what you wish you could have done better and the areas you struggled with.

By completing this step, you'll be able to better figure out what you need to do in 2018 in order to have a successful year.

Lean Tip #1787 - Make Sure Your 2018 Goals are SMART.
You should always make sure that any goal you set for 2018 is SMART.

A SMART goal is:

Specific – What is your goal? Is it specific enough or is it too broad? What needs to be done for you to achieve your goal? Why do you want to reach your goal?
Measurable – How can you measure your progress? How will you know if you’re on track?
Attainable – Can your goal actually be achieved?
Realistic/relevant – Can you achieve your goal? Is the goal worth it?
Time – What’s your time frame for reaching your goal?

This is extremely important when setting 2018 goals because by doing this, you are ensuring that your goals are realistic and attainable.

Lean Tip #1788 - Write Down Your 2018 Goals and Objectives.
Writing down your business and personal goals for 2018 is a very important part goal setting.

Completing this step can help you remember your goal and why you want to achieve it. If I don’t write something down or have it in front of me on a regular basis, I tend to forget about it.

If you can’t remember your 2018 goals, it would be very hard to achieve them. I suggest that you think about:

·       Making a vision board.
·       Putting post-its around your home that list your yearly goals.
·       Placing reminders on your phone, calendar, or whatever else you use for your to-do list.

Lean Tip #1789 - Create a Plan to Reach Your 2018 Goals.
If you want to stay motivated with your goals, then one of the first things you should do is to create a plan on how you will reach your goals for 2018.

A plan can help you focus on the steps it will take to reach your goal, instead of feeling like you are all over the place.

Your plan should detail the steps you need in order to reach your goal, what will happen as you reach each step, when and how you will track your progress, and more. Being detailed with your plan will help you reach your goal and be successful.

Lean tip #1790 - Break Your Goal Apart Into Smaller Goals for 2018.
A year can feel like a long time to reach your goals, and you may forget about them or become overwhelmed with the work it will take to reach them.

One way to approach your 2018 goals is to think of 12 separate goals that relate to an overall goal, one for each month of the year. Basically, each month would be a step that gets you closer to your overall goal.

This can be a great way to stay motivated while seeing the progress you are making towards your overall goal, and you'll know exactly what you need to do in order to be successful.

Lean Tip #1791 - Realign Your Team After The New Year
After the holidays, it can be tough to get back into the swing of things. While your employees might try to wade back into the depths of their responsibilities, you can’t afford to waste too much time. At the same time, however, you don’t want to overwhelm your team, either.

Start the New Year by reviewing where you all left off before the break. Discuss what has been going well, and where there is room for improvement. Once everyone is back on the same page, start looking forward.

Lean Tip #1792 - Streamline Your Processes
While you’re assessing your productivity from the past year, start tweaking your processes to help your team better reach its goals.

Analyze each step of your day-to-day processes, and try to figure out where you can save time, money or other resources. If you can save a minute here, or a dollar there, you could end up saving countless hours and thousands of dollars over the course of the next year.

Not only that, but by streamlining your processes and decreasing the amount of “hang-ups” your team faces, your employees will be more apt to dive in and get to work.

Lean Tip #1793 - Improve Communication In Your Business.
Effective communication is vital to business success. Encourage your employees to share their thoughts about the past and the future. Provide several ways they can communicate with you, from regular team and one-on-one meetings to an online chat platform. Have an open-door policy and be open to receiving honest feedback and ideas. Set the tone for consistent and transparent communication.

Lean Tip #1794 - Focus on Education & Development
Learning a relevant new skill will make you a more efficient leader, and the same is true for your employees. By focusing on education and growth throughout the year, you can improve operational efficiency, increase product/service quality, and foster an innovative and creative environment. Further, the opportunity to improve or develop new skill sets can translate to employees who are more confident and satisfied in their current position.

Lean Tip #1795 - Build Your Strategy With Your Team
What do you want your business to achieve next year? Be SMART, set goals rather than make resolutions. Especially in business, there is a difference between a goal and a resolution. Resolutions are things you keep, goals are things you attain. Nearly all successful business owners use SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Based) goals to achieve their goals.

Once you have goals for your business, it’s crucial to get your team on board. Schedule a planning and strategy meeting with your employees, colleagues, and support system to create the plans you need to reach those goals.

Lean Tip #1796 - Engage in Meaningful Dialog
When you make the effort to connect with your team members in person—individually and as a group—you’re establishing a position of caring that motivates individuals in all sorts of crazy-good ways. It’s easy to send short messages in emails, and then rely on these small exchanges for most of your communication. Or, you can focus on what needs to get done next and forget to take a breath, look around, and get to know your employees. Don’t fall into this rut. Instead, ask your team members about their immediate goals and project interests as well as their career objectives.

Lean Tip #1797 - Listen to Everyone’s Ideas
Your entire team has great ideas. They’re in the trenches all day, bringing their own experience and perspectives to the part of the project they’re focused on. For example, if there’s a way to make spreadsheets more efficient or processes more productive, the team members know how. It’s tempting to stick with protocol because you know that works well. But these days the world moves so fast nobody can afford to stay with a status quo for too long. So instead, make it a policy to listen to new ideas (you could structure appropriate time periods for this, too), and this will tell everyone they’re a valuable part of the team. Give the good ideas a try; you never know what might happen—other than the team becomes more invested in their work and the project outcome, for starters.

Lean Tip #1798 – Celebrate Team Successes Publicly.
Buy everyone the same t-shirt or hat. Put team member names in a drawing for company merchandise and gift certificates. Take the team out to lunch or order in pizza. Let the team members share their success story at your weekly company meeting. You are limited in the ways that you can celebrate teamwork only by your imagination.

Lean Tip #1799 – Assign Serious Team Goals
Give your teams really important assignments and projects, not just planning for next summer's annual company picnic. Bring teams in when you're looking at new trends in the market, or need to see things through new eyes. It's important to mix it up and not have the same people making the same decisions all the time. Ask them to challenge the status quo and the conventional wisdom. This will help to keep your company fresh and ahead of the game.

Lean Tip #1800 – Encourage Informal Teams
More work in organizations is accomplished through informal teams than formal ones. It's therefore in your interest to encourage the proliferation of informal teams throughout your company, addressing any and all issues and opportunities that capture their interest. When your employees are able to tackle concerns themselves, without elevating every little decision to top management, you'll have a much more efficient organization.

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